Saturday, March 16, 2019

Marching Along with Charity Quilts

The Awesome, Official End of the Polyester Batting

Isn't that great texture? I love how this quilt turned out in spite of the waviness. Polyester batting in a comforter thickness is not conducive to detailed quilting. Even with widely spaced stitching, the tension causes it to draw up in spots. Still it will be a wonderful quilt for someone to snuggle under, and the vintage fabrics give it a 60's retro vibe.

It's been a real task to use up the last of the monster roll of poly comforter batting, but this marks the end. Thank you, and Amen! The road ahead is smooth sailing with cotton.

See the pink paper pinned to the corner? Every-- and I mean EVERY quilt we work on has one to mark its dimensions as it goes from completed top to quilted to bound. And when it's put in the pile to be distributed, it still has one until it's been labeled and recorded. I've come a long way in keeping good records this year.

When I first started hand waxing with tjantings to create batik fabrics, this was a favorite pattern. I love how varying the shapes helps keep it organic. In this size, I think of Greek border art.

It has a strong feel of circuit boards or anti-theft tags when microsizing the line. This is lemon yellow waxed and over-dyed with grey.

Brain science may tell us we are no good at multi-tasking, but there are quilts in every stage of progress in the studio, and I work better this way. There's one on the long-arm.

A growing pile of almost 20 tops and backings.

And finally some more finishes to show.

Some fun, juvenile panels were finally put to good use.

Irish chains are fast charity quilts to construct.

The leftover bug jar blocks from a former quilt were mixed with odd sized jars. I love the variety!

Table Set Up for Binding
& Harnessing the Light

Producing as many quilts as we have on this scale and timetable has caused each of us to break down, and analyze our process. We keep asking, "How can we make this easier/faster/more standardized?" 

Sometimes the lesson is learned by using a new tool. Other times it's in the materials or work space. Binding polyester batted quilts is a pain in my you-know-what, but using tables like this to support the lofty bulk helps oh-so-much! Keeping the quilt level eliminates most of the drag, and speeds up the process. Do create a work space that makes the task easier if you can. Lightweight tables make it easy to adjust as you need them, and are a good investment. When not in use, fold them up, and store against a wall to conserve space.

And always use natural light to your benefit when available. Not only does it help when giving a last scan over a finished quilt, but also helps make us happy sun bathing if even through a window. So pause for a minute, smile, and enjoy your work. Life is short.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.


  1. I was just beginning to wonder where you have been! Good to see a new post from you. Lots of fun seeing all the charity quilts that have been made and YAY for the end of the polyester! :) You've made me see how I need to rearrange my sewing room once I get it back (hubby is using half of it for his home office temporarily).

  2. They are all wonderful, Julie! You ladies have been hard at work.

  3. You are all doing such good work! And I so wish I could be there sewing right along with you. Lovely space (and more of it, now that the poly batting is gone!!)

  4. GOSH, you've been busy!! I'm amazed that you can spit out so many completed quilts in the time it takes me to pick out backing fabric for ONE quilt. I love that Greek Key quilting design and I congratulate you on using up all of the thick polyester batting. :-)

  5. You gals are a wonder! They all look fun. I've learned a lesson with your posting about poly. We only tie those when that kind of batting comes our way.

  6. Sorry it took so long to respond. Catching up from a whopper of a head cold. All the photos are super and the quilts are so wonderful. I hate that polyester batting and refuse to use it. Like sewing marshmellows. Wish I could join you!

  7. Lots of great quilts. I love the quilting on the first one. Bye bye poly batting!

  8. You've been very busy and really productive. Congrats on all the finishes!

  9. Kudos to your whole group! Attaching the binding to the quilted top is my least favorite task. Because of the bulk and drag...I have started to do that job on my dining room table....more room and better light!


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Pink Doxie Mama